• The Alhambra – an Andalusian Ambition Fulfilled

    12th October 2013Places to VisitStephanie Donaldson
    The view of the Alhambra Palace

    The view from the Generalife gardens to the Alhambra Palaces

    I’ve finally been to the Alhambra and it did not disappoint (except for the crowds). It is a place that has been on my ‘must visit’ list for a very long time.  The Moorish architecture is, of course, sublime, but the gardens were so much greener and more colourful than I expected, especially in October when the surrounding landscape is so parched.  Looking at photos of the Generalife Gardens in the past, it does appear that the planting was far from inspired, but these days it is replanted as often as every 6 weeks and it was positively zinging with colour. It is contemporary planting, using many plants that would have been unfamiliar to the Moors – but historically accuracy can be dull and given that much of the Alhambra has been rebuilt and restored many times, with varying degrees of reference to the original, some horticultural creativity was fine by me.

    Stephanie at Alhambra Palace Gardens

    salvia and lemon basil in border

    A border planted with Gomphrena, Lemon Basil and a salvia

    River of fire

    Unruly variants of the traditional red bedding salvia create a river of fire through the Generalife gardens

     Purple Celosia, lemon basil and roses

    Purple Celosia, lemon basil and roses

    zinnias in the sun

    The zinnias were zingily gorgeous

    single morning glory flower

    And the morning glories were glorious

    hedge trimming at the Alhambra

    After an initial trim using electric hedgecutters, the seemingly endless hedges are hand-finished. I do hope they get to do other things !